[3.15] Champion/Gladiator Bladestorm Impale build guide. Decent mapping/bossing after nerfs

Recently I finished playing Harvest league with my Bladestorm build and noticed pretty heavily that there really weren't any good build guides on Bladestorm at all so I thought I'd throw my hand at it and share my experience on how to progress the build to be endgame viable, which was pretty easy. I'll be posting a cluster jewel version and a non-cluster jewel version.

I also was able to hit 100 with this build while having a lot of fun. I've also done A8 Sirus and Uber Elder deathless plenty of times, so it's very viable in the endgame.
I'll be updating this build every league as I feel Bladestorm is a very underrated skill. For alt quality gems. I'll look into adding them in cause I didn't really play Heist
If you have any question or concerns either leave a comment here or if I'm online send me a PM in-game

Patch 3.15
Well we all know everything got hit HARD with nerfs and we also got hit on the top end of things. Nothing really worth changing imo. I looked at swapping some supports but it wasn't worth it at the top end only early on we swap Melee phys for Rage.
I cant really say if this will be amazing anymore with the nerfs. But if I get a soul taker drop in SSF I will give it a go again, but shouldn't be a bad build


Patch 3.14

Okay so Ive updated one of the PoBs its the current one but nothing in the tree has changed really. Just a bit of min maxing if that is your thing. Sucks that we lost Blood and Sand but we are still fine with damage. Just slight loss and updated belt slot as Soul tether pretty trash now
Overall we should be fine. Just small little hits that can be made up in other places


So played around with PoB and its all updated! Lost about 1m dps, but gained more tankiness so you'll be more than fine to play this build
Champ is a great bosser so its perfect for echos of the atlas.
Only real big hit so far I've seen is that we lose 1 impale stack from the nerfs, but we gain a lot of tankiness with the increase effect of fortify, so a small trade off and we are fine. Jack the axe getting a little buff makes it nicer early if you use it. Will mess around in PoB once the update is ready and will update the current one.
But Build is still fine.

Nothing really big happened to the build. The biggest nerf was the hit to enduring cry which was only an extra 2 second to cooldown and the endurance charge change which isn't that big.
The build will function the same and be very viable during Heist!

If you have any question feel free to ask me!

-Can be played as a league starter
-Can be either Gladiator or Champion
-Champion version is very strong end game bosser
-Gladiator version is super fast map clear
-Tanky(7k+ Life with good leech leech, fortify, and 75%+ phys reduction)
-No Gem swaps
-No MANA issues

-Can feel click intensive at times
-Cannot do "No leech", "Phys reflect" maps
-Helmet enchant kinda feels needed for late game

TLDR PoB Codes

NOTE: Im not updating the leveling PoBs as the tree hasn't changed
Current: https://pastebin.com/bCHXNqqW
Leveling: https://pastebin.com/wScUbfFM
Non-Cluster Jewel: https://pastebin.com/bPeKbzES

Champion vs Gladiator

So I'll do a quick TLDR for the differences between them. Champion = Better bosser. Gladiator = Better mapper.
I will recommend starting off as Gladiator because it does better with little investment and with the set up used you get a ton of free attack speed which is needed to make Bladestorm feel nice. With Gladiator you will be able to map faster early on and complete your atlas faster. Packs of mobs will explode from your ascendancy and then challenger charges will make you go fast.
After you have a bit of currency you can swap to Champion which will be a little slower in mapping, but it will feel so much nicer on bosses as you will get a total of 7 impale stacks with your ascendancy, which will make your damage skyrocket through the roof. You'll also have perma fortify which opens up a gem slot for your 6L in Bladestorm. Also Champion is overall a lot tankier, so if your goal is to die less then this will be your go to ascendancy

Q. Why Bladestorm?
Well, I thought Bladestorm was a really cool skill and wanted to see how far I could take it. Overall its a really nice skills that feels smooth with the right amount of attack speed
Q. What makes Bladestorm a good skill?
Bladestorm has fast map clearing with a few swings and then leap away to the next pack. Bladestorm when abusing impale will make bossing super simple. Lay down your Bladestorms and let them do work and the boss will die
Q. Which ascendancy did you enjoy the most?
Honestly. I found Champion better because I enjoy bossing more, but if you want to clear mobs extremely fast and map like crazy Gladiator is better because of challenger charges
Q. Why not bleed?
Bladestorm does 50% less with bleed so it felt bad and when I made this build it didn't get the bleed buff

Leveling section:
This can all be done during league start, but its just a tad more difficult since you'll be upgrading your weapons a lot with the vendor recipe(I'll touch on this later at the end)
Clear: Frost blade - Ancrestal call support - Onslaught
Single target: Double strike - Chance to bleed

Once you can get War banner as an aura
Movement: Dash/Leap slam is fine. I used Leap slam
Remember the vendor recipe of Axe - Rustic Sash - Whey stone. You'll get increased phys on that weapon
At level 16: Herald of Purity will boost your damage a lot

At Level 24 swap Herald of Purity for Pride If you feel comfortable with less mana, but with the mana multiplier nerfs I might say stay with purity longer and level pride on the side

At level 28-31 your total set up will swap over to Bladestorm
Champion: Bladestorm - Fortify - Impale - Brutality - Rage Support - Close Combat Support These are in order of importance so try to get them in that order
Gladiator: Bladestorm - Fortify - Impale - Rage Support - Brutality - Close Combat Support
Auras: Pride - Dread Banner - Blood and Sand
Movement: Leap slam - Faster attacks - Life Tap
Others: Warcheif - Molten shell - Vulnerability

Now you can just focus on doing the vendor recipe when you feel like you damage is lacking
Using a Rare rustic will grant you the highest amount of % increased phys.
Other nice things to have would be iron rings for the flat phys to attacks, but remember capping res and having good life is also important

When getting into maps the things that change for CHAMPION is that you drop Rage support for Melee Physical Damage Support and once you get your 3rd lab done you drop Fortify for Multistrike
Usually, you would also run Flesh and stone supported by a Maim Support, but if you do not have a Soul Taker then it can be difficult to run those auras too, so wait until you have a soul taker to add those auras in.

Now you've made it into maps and can head over to the Gem Links section.

Current Gear

Budget Gear
I'll start this off by saying I'm not going to be linking any gear cause I don't have any laying around, but I'll be giving details on what you should be looking for each part

Assuming you are on a budget you won't be able to get a

early you can just look to grab two 250-320 pdps axes or even just use on as Jack the Axe for early game as it is pretty cheap. Since you don't have Soul taker to make life easy. Use an enduring mana flask to fix your mana issues. You may have to drop blood and sand or Flesh and stone until you have a soul taker.

Any rare helmet with Life+Res that helps you reach res cap is good. Whenever you can get the +1 to maximum bladestorm it is such an amazing enchant for this build.

Life and Res. Super simple. You don't need anything special in these spots. It's a nice bonus to get the Add Phys to attacks on each one and but not needed on the budget. Martial Experience is also a cheap annoit so you can get it really early on.

Body Armour
Again Super simple. Either grab a 5L Belly of the Beast or any 5L/6L with Life and Res. Getting a corrupted 6L early or 5L is pretty cheap and will carry you until you can get that 6L Belly of the Beast.

These are pretty cheap early on with lower rolls so just look for a pair with low rolls and divine them or save for a better rolled pair.

Again nothing special as in you are just looking for Life+Res and anything for dex requirement.

Just grab life and Res on this. Soul Tether was nerfed too much for it to be worthwhile

Gear Breakdown

Basically you'll want to get a soul taker as fast as possible as this will make your life so much easier. I used a 480pdps axe for pretty much all of endgame and never bothered to buy a new one. You can red tier maps with around a 380-400pdps axe too without any trouble. If you are unable to get a soultaker you can just use a
Make sure it says enduring as that is what you are mainly looking for in the mana flask

-Body Armour
I just use a 6L belly. If anything you can just have a rare chest with life and res. If you want an end game rare chest Id go for explody chest and %increased life as the mods for champion, but High life and res works fine


Mainly looking for +1 to bladestorms as this adds so much damage to the build. After that Life+Res. I got the crusader mods to make myself a little tankier. You can look to get the -Physical reduction to nearby enemies for more damage, but it's not needed.


Basically Life and res again. Nothing fancy. I just got these super early on and they helped me reach my dex requirement nicely while also giving +2 to ancestral warchief


Just Kaoms roots. Gives lots of life and we cant be lowered below base speed. Feels great for mapping and bossing. You can get a rare pair if you want the MS and need more res but you should be fine without them

Just grab Life and res. If you want more damage you can grab a Ryslatha's Coil as its pretty good for giving life and damage.


Just grab life, res, and any dex requirements with these slots.
The anoints you can do are either Martial Experince, which is cheap and only good for early game (Revocery rate and Phys overwhelm)
And for late game grab Hematophagy which does what pre 3.11 Martial experience did.

Can grab life, Phys damage, area damage, or attack speed. Jewels can increase your damage a lot for it is worthwhile looking into them
This is one of the cluster jewels I used for the majority of the league. You can find the others in the POB above.


Pretty simple. Just a life flask with staunching to remove bleeds. Lion's roar for more damage and armour. Quicksilver to move fast and have curse immunity. Amthyst for more chaos res to get us almost capped and finally a sulphur flask for a bit more damage and to have another immunity to shock/freeze/burn

Gem links

Main 6L in our chest FOR CHAMPION
Bladestorm - Brutality - Rage Support - Multistrike - Impale - Close Combat
If you only have a 5L drop Rage support
Once you start swapping to Awakenend gems. Swap Rage for Awake Melee Phys

Bladestorm - Brutality - Fortify - Rage Support - Impale - Close Combat
Flesh and Stone
Pride - Dread Banner
After that just have these two anywhere you can fit them.
4L for mobility
Leap Slam - Life Tap support - Enduring Cry - Faster Attacks
Leap Slam - Faster Attacks - Vaal Ancestral Warcheif - Blood Lust Support
Other 4L
Vaal Molten Shell - Blood Rage - Vaal Ancestral Warchief - Bloodlust
Enduring Cry - Blood Rage - Life Tap - Vaal Molten Shell


-Kill all Bandits. You really dont care for anything they give you as we take RT
-Ascendancies order:
Champion: Master of Medal -> Unstoppable Hero ->Fortitude -> First to Strike last to fall
Gladiator: Arena Challenger -> Blood in the eyes -> Gratuitous Violence ->Outmatch and Outlast
-Pantheon: Soul of Solaris and Soul of Shakari


T16 Map Preview
Uber Elder
A8 Sirus
A8 T16 Al Hezmin
I'll try to get gaurdians/Conquoers when ever I can. Im kinda taking a small break after hitting 100

-Fixed up the POBS
-Added Non-cluster jewel POB
-Updated current gear
-Fixed the end game anoint
-Added Videos
-Added leveling section
-Added flask section
Last edited by Frezziee on Jul 22, 2021, 10:40:45 AM
Last bumped on Oct 25, 2021, 7:05:32 PM
Hmm, having some trouble with the POB link.
Hey sorry! Fixed this. Should be working now
jhahn812 wrote:
Hmm, having some trouble with the POB link.

It it fixed now. Sorry about that
hello is this build better with swords ? and is it worth to invest in the dual handed skills down right in the tree ? "blade barrier and swagger also iron reflexes" im new to the game
Hey sry for the question but how u trigger first to strike last to Fall? Or is it just "luck" when u get hit hard?
Woerl1988 wrote:
Hey sry for the question but how u trigger first to strike last to Fall? Or is it just "luck" when u get hit hard?

Good question. You don't really go out of your way to trigger first to strike, last to fall. It is mainly a defensive layer that allows you to get a lot of extra damage while low so you can leech back up to full. First to strike, last to fall is also really nice as it allows us to permanently intimidate enemies which gives us a good damage boost.
In the end, you don't really want to be procing it that often as you'll be lower life which makes dying too easy
amrkoti wrote:
hello is this build better with swords ? and is it worth to invest in the dual handed skills down right in the tree ? "blade barrier and swagger also iron reflexes" im new to the game

The champion version of this build can definitely work with swords just fine, but you would need to swap the tree around so you are not taking any of the axe nodes. Also, you would need to find another way to sustain mana as we use the
to ignore that to infinitely cast Bladestorm, so axes are just a lot easier to set up early on.

I'd like to note that a crit build would be better with swords, but we go Resolute Technique which doesn't allow us to crit.

Also, Blade barrier can work fine if you are willing to shift your tree around, but since we don't invest that much into block it's not that amazing of a node. Iron reflexes can work but we have such high armour already that it isn't that impactful as it would only add a bit more physical reduction and the points on the passive tree can be a little annoying to shift around to grab that node which doesn't add as much as other nodes we can grab.
okey thanks !
Currently in Act 9, was a bit rough at the start, but once I hit high enough for the Soul Taker it all came together. I was looking at your amulet, can you explain why you anointed Martial Experience? From what I can tell (at least on POB) its not doing anything for the build? Thanks, mate!
Otherwise, good build, enjoying it a lot so far.

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